Main characters
Donald Duck · Huey, Dewey, and Louie · Scrooge McDuck · Gladstone Gander · Daisy Duck · April, May, and June · Grandma Duck · Gus Goose · Billy · Dobbin · Bossy · Si Bumpkin · Zeke Wolf · Brer Fox · Gus and Jaq · Dumbo · Gyro Gearloose · Helper · Beagle Boys · Magica de Spell · Ratface · Flintheart Glomgold · Ludwig von Drake · Miss Quackfaster · Jones · Herbert · Santa · Madam Mim · Junior Woodchucks · Chickadees · Captain Ramrod · Official Hound · Bolivar · Pluto · Mickey Mouse · Morty and Ferdie · Minnie Mouse · Goofy · Horace Horsecollar · Clarabelle Cow · Clara Cluck · Black Pete · Barney Bear · Benny Burro · Mooseface McElk · Droopy · 3B909664780 · Porky Pig · Petunia Pig · Bugs Bunny · Andy Panda
The following text contains short biographies of the characters Barks used in his comics. Included are the standard personnel of the Disney comics and films as well as those characters which appear in at least 2 Barks stories.
Cartoons: short animated motion pictures shown before the feature film, generally about 8 minutes long. From 1928 through 1936, all Disney cartoons were released as »A Walt Disney Mickey Mouse« or »A Walt Disney Silly Symphony«; it was only after that that other Disney stars, as Donald Duck, Goofy, or Pluto, received their own series, though some of them already had had solo appearances inside the Mickey Mouse series.
Comic strips: comics produced especially for newspapers. You have to distinguish between the daily strips, which consisted of one strip each with generally 4-6 panels, and the Sunday pages, which offered more space for epic development. The comic strips were produced at a special department of the Disney Studio; the most prominent artists were Floyd Gottfredson and Al Taliaferro.
Comic books: magazines for newsstand distribution, which consisted nearly exclusively of comics. The comic books were not produced at the Disney Studio, but under licence at Western Publishing. Among the most important artists were Carl Barks and Tony Strobl in the Duck area and Paul Murry in the Mouse area.
Symbols used:
* This character was introduced by Barks.
+ Barks used this character only if ordered by his editor.

The name Donald Duck was introduced as early as 1931 in a children's book of the Disney Studio (»The Adventures of Mickey Mouse«), though his famous personality did not surface until 9 June 1934 when he had a supporting role in the Silly Symphony cartoon »The Wise Little Hen« (directed by Wilfred Jackson), a comic-strip version of which was launched on 16 September 1934 (written by Ted Osborne, drawn by Al Taliaferro). After another appearance in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Orphan's Benefit« (11 August 1934, directed by Burt Gillett) he had a leading role on 23 February 1935 in »The Band Concert« (directed by Wilfred Jackson), the first full-color Mickey Mouse cartoon. In the following years Donald, whose voice was spoken by Clarence Nash, appeared in numerous Mickey Mouse cartoons beside Mickey and Goofy; he had his first solo appearance on 12 September 1936 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Donald and Pluto« (directed by Ben Sharpsteen), and on 10 December 1937 he at last got his own series with »Donald's Ostrich« (directed by Jack King). On 10 February 1935 he debuted on Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse Sunday pages. Beginning 30 August 1936, he had regular appearances on the Silly Symphony Sunday pages (written by Ted Osborne, drawn by Al Taliaferro), which made him quit the Mickey Mouse series due to Disney's distribution strategy. On 7 February 1938 the first Donald Duck daily strip was published (written and drawn by Al Taliaferro; later Bob Karp did the writing), on 10 December 1939 the regular Donald Duck Sunday pages started, also created by Karp/Taliaferro. The first Donald story made especially for the comic books was published in Summer 1942 in FC 9 (written by Bob Karp, drawn by Carl Barks und Jack Hannah).
Al Taliaferro is credited with the idea for Donald's 3 nephews, though their names and design were most probably developed at the animation department of the Disney Studio. The nephews' film debut was the Donald Duck cartoon »Donald's Nephews« (15 April 1938, directed by Jack King, story-crew member Carl Barks); their first appearance on the Silly Symphony Sunday pages, which was closely based on the motion picture, was already on 17 October 1937.
The richest duck of the world first appeared in FC 178/2 (December 1947). Scrooge McDuck was partly inspired by rich Uncle Bim from Sydney Smith's comic strip The Gumps and maybe also by a character from the animated cartoon »The Spirit of '43« (7 January 1943, directed by Jack King). His personality was at first closely based on Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens' novel »A Christmas Carol« (1843), but he soon developed more human features and became one of the most popular Disney characters ever. Also, Scrooge is one of the few characters who made the jump from comic book to comic strip. His motion-picture debut took place on 23 March 1967 in the 17-minute cartoon »Scrooge McDuck and Money« (directed by Hamilton Luske).
Donald's cousin and rival debuted in WDC 88/1 (January 1948); his proverbial luck, however, did not surface until 1949 in MOC 41/1.
Donald's quick-tempered cousin debuted on 7 June 1940 in the Donald Duck cartoon »Mr. Duck Steps Out« (directed by Jack King, story director Carl Barks), though a predecessor called Donna Duck appeared as early as 9 January 1937 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Don Donald« (directed by Ben Sharpsteen). Also, some storyboard sketches which Barks made in 1938 for the never finished cartoon project »Lost Prospectors« show some duck ladies who already sport the characteristic hair ribbon. Donna's voice was, as Donald's, spoken by Clarence Nash, Daisy's was contributed by Ruth Peterson, Gloria Blondell, Tony Anselmo, and others. In the Donald Duck comic strip, Daisy first appeared on the Sunday page of 15 December 1940.
Daisy Duck's 3 little nieces were frequent guests in the comic books from the late 1950's onwards; probably they got their names in 1960. Western editor Del Connell credits himself with the idea; but it was already in Barks' story WDC 149/1 (February 1953) that Daisy had 3 nieces - though nameless and with rounded beaks.
The matriarch of the Duck clan first appeared on 27 September 1943 on a Donald Duck Sunday page, though her portrait was seen as early as 11 August 1940 on a picture in Donald's house. She is supposed to be based on Taliaferro's mother-in-law, Donnie M. Wheaton.
In 1937/1938, a total of 3 animated-cartoon projects with Donald's fat cousin were under work, though only one was ever finished: »Donald's Cousin Gus« (19 May 1939, directed by Jack King, story director Carl Barks). The story was also used in the Donald Duck daily strip from 9 through 24 May 1938; after some more short appearances, however, Gus disappeared from the comic strip in 1942. Around 1950 he had a comeback in the comic books when an inventive Western editor had the glorious idea to make him Grandma Duck's farm hand.
Grandma Duck's billy goat was probably developed in the mid-1950's for the Grandma Duck's Farm Friends series.
Grandma Duck's horse is one of the »farm friends«, too.
Grandma Duck's cow is another member of the »farm friends«.
Grandma Duck's choleric neighbor appeared in as many as 3 Barks comics.
The big bad wolf was the villain in the Silly Symphony cartoon »Three Little Pigs« (27 May 1933, directed by Burt Gillett) which was followed by several sequels; his voice was spoken by Billy Bletcher. Among his appearances in the comic books, mainly the works of Carl Buettner and Gil Turner are worth mentioning.
This character originates from the animated sequences of the feature film »Song of the South« (12 November 1946, directed by Perce Pearce [real-life scenes] and Wilfred Jackson [animated sequences]) which was based on Joel Chandler Harris' fables; his voice was spoken by James Baskett. First comic-book appearance in 1946 in Four Color 129.
The 2 mice were first seen in the animated feature »Cinderella« (15 February 1950, directed by Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, and Clyde Geronimi), where their voices were spoken by Jim Macdonald. In 1950 they had a short guest appearance in Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse strip; in the comic books, they found their home on Grandma Duck's farm.
Dumbo + list all appearances
The flying elephant was the main character of the animated feature »Dumbo« (23 October 1941, directed by Ben Sharpsteen).
The ingenious inventor debuted in WDC 140/1 (May 1952); the first all-Gyro story was US 13/3 (March 1956). There are some design sketches by Barks for Gus Goose (1937) on which Gus has a certain resemblance to the inventor.
Helper * list all appearances
Gyro's bulb-headed assistant first appeared in US 15/3 (September 1956).
This gang of criminals debuted in WDC 134/1 (November 1951); some predecessors, however, could already be seen in FC 282/1 (July 1950).
Barks probably developed Magica as a counterpoint to the usual comic-book witches. She was partly based on the Morticia character from Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons; maybe she was also inspired by Maleficent the evil fairy from the animated feature »Sleeping Beauty« (29 January 1959, directed by Clyde Geronimi). Magica first appeared in US 36/1 (December 1961).
Magica's talking raven was merely a dumb stand-in when he first appeared in US 36/1 (December 1961); he uttered his first word in US 45/2 (October 1963).
Scrooge's rival for the title of the richest duck in the world appears only 3 times in Barks' stories, first in US 15/2 (September 1956). The character was later also used in Gutenberghus productions, while Italian artists prefered the equally Barks-inspired John D. Rockerduck from WDC 255/1.
The allround professor was designed as an anchorman for Disney's television show (first appearance on 24 September 1961 in »Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color«); his voice was spoken by Paul Frees. In November 1961 he debuted in the comic books, and he also appeared in numerous Donald Duck comic strips.
Scrooge's secretary debuted in US 36/1 (December 1961), though her name was not mentioned until US 39/2 (September 1962).
Jones * list all appearances
A neighbor called Jones already appeared in WDC 34/1 (July 1943), his tyical look, however, did not show until WDC 38/1 (November 1943).
The nephews' fat friend appeared in only 3 Barks stories, starting with WDC 43/1 (April 1944).
A traditional American figure from Coca-Cola advertisement campaigns. Though Disney could not claim copyright for him, he was often used in the comics.
Madam Mim the witch originates from Disney's animated feature »The Sword in the Stone« (25 December 1963, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman); her voice was spoken by Martha Wentworth. First comic-book appearance in 1963 in March of Comics 258.
Barks first used the world-wide youth organization in WDC 125/1 (February 1951). The boy-scout motif itself, however, is much older and can already be seen in the Donald Duck cartoon »Good Scouts« (8 July 1938, directed by Jack King, story director Carl Barks) and in Al Taliaferro's Donald Duck comic strip (daily strips from 18 through 30 July 1938).
The Chickadees are the female counterpart of the Junior Woodchucks. They first appeared in WDC 181/1 (October 1955) as the South Duckburg Chickadee Patrol. In their later WDC appearances they were called Junior Chickadees, in his HDL scripts Barks renamed them Littlest Chickadees.
The Chickadees' militant leader was still nameless when she debuted in WDC 181/1 (October 1955). In WDC 260/1 (May 1962) she was called Mrs. Ramrodd, by WDC 280/1 (January 1964) she had achieved the rank of Captain Ramrod.
The Junior Woodchucks' Official Hound first appeared in WDC 213/1 (June 1958) where he was called General Snozzie. In one of Barks' HDL scripts, the editors replaced him with Pluto.
The Ducks' St. Bernard dog was introduced into the Donald Duck daily strip by Al Taliaferro on 17 March 1938, later Barks began to use him in the comic books; he was probably inspired by a nameless St. Bernard in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Alpine Climbers« (25 July 1936, directed by Dave Hand) and the dog Toliver in the cartoon »More Kittens« (19 December 1936, directed by Dave Hand and Wilfred Jackson). When Disney discouraged using the name in the late 1940's to prevent associations with South American national hero Simón Bolívar, the dog presently disappeared from the comic strip; Barks, however, continued to use him and rechristened him Bornworthy. Later the name Bernie became standard.
Mickey's pet dog first appeared in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »The Moose Hunt« (3 May 1931, directed by Burt Gillett), though he was preceded by one of the bloodhounds in »The Chain Gang« (5 September 1930, directed by Burt Gillett) and Minnie's dog Rover in »The Picnic« (23 October 1930, directed by Burt Gillett). His own series was launched on 26 November 1937 with »Pluto's Quin-Puplets« (directed by Ben Sharpsteen). On 8 July 1931 he debuted in the Mickey Mouse daily strip. Barks' first comic-book work was a Pluto script for LFC 7 (1942), but it was not until the 1970's when he used Pluto again in some of his HDL scripts where he had to appoint him the Junior Woodchucks' official hound at his editors' request.
When Walt Disney lost the rights for his character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in 1927, he needed a new trademark - and from Disney's brain and Ub Iwerks' brush sprang Mickey Mouse. Mickey had his debut on 18 November 1928 in »Steamboat Willie« (directed by Walt Disney), the first sound cartoon of all time; the 2 silent cartoons »Plane Crazy« and »The Gallopin' Gaucho« were produced before »Steamboat Willie«, but it was only after that that they made it to the cinema - post-synchronized. Until 1946, Mickey's voice was spoken by Walt Disney himself, later by Jim Macdonald. On 13 January 1930 the Mickey Mouse daily strip was launched which was first (as were the early cartoons) drawn by Ub Iwerks, but as soon as 5 May 1930 found its way into Floyd Gottfredson's hands who created a long series of unforgettable adventure stories in collaboration with different writers (among them Webb Smith, Ted Osborne, Merrill de Maris, Dick Shaw, and Bill Walsh). On 10 January 1932 the Sunday pages started which first were also drawn by Gottfredson and in 1938 were taken over by Manuel Gonzales. In the comic books, mainly Paul Murry's detective stories had an important impact.
Mickey's nephews first appeared on the Mickey Mouse Sunday page of 18 September 1932, not yet as obvious relations of Mickey's, but as the children of some Mrs. Fieldmouse. Their film debut was on 16 June 1934 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Mickey's Steam-Roller« (directed by Dave Hand).
Mickey's girlfriend debuted together with him in »Steamboat Willie« (and in »Plane Crazy«). Her voice was first spoken by Marcellite Garner, starting in 1940 by Thelma Boardman, and starting in 1942 by Ruth Clifford. She first appeared in the Mickey Mouse daily strip on 13 January 1930.
Goofy + list all appearances
Clumsy Goofy debuted on 25 May 1932 as a nameless supporting character in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Mickey's Revue« (directed by Wilfred Jackson). His voice was spoken by Pinto Colvig. In Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse strip, he first appeared on the Sunday page of 29 January 1933, on 9 October 1933 the first daily strip followed. In the comic strip he was first called Dippy Dog, then Dippy Dawg; the first cartoon to mention this name was »Ye Olden Days« (8 April 1933, directed by Burt Gillett). The character was also called Dippy the Goof or simply The Goof, which eventually evolved into Goofy. In 1936 Gottfredson started to call him Goofy; the change of his name became official on 17 March 1939 with the release of the first Goofy cartoon, »Goofy and Wilbur« (directed by Dick Huemer). Goofy gradually replaced Horace Horsecollar as Mickey's sidekick. In the comic books, it was above all Paul Murry who contributed to Goofy's character; he also developed his typical gesture.
This early supporting character from Mickey's »barnyard« debuted in 1929 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »The Plow Boy« (directed by Walt Disney). First appearance in the Mickey Mouse daily strip on 3 April 1930.
Clarabelle is for Horace what Mickey is for Minnie. She debuted together with Horace in the cartoon »The Plow Boy«, though she did not receive her name until 1930 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »The Shindig« (directed by Burt Gillett). A predecessor called Carolyn could be seen as early as 1928 in »Plane Crazy«. First appearance in the Mickey Mouse daily strip on 2 April 1930.
Voluminous Clara was first seen on 11 August 1934 in the Mickey Mouse cartoon »Orphan's Benefit« (directed by Burt Gillett); her voice was contributed by Florence Gill.
Mickey's enemy already appeared on the screen in »Steamboat Willie« (and in »The Gallopin' Gaucho«); a predecessor called Bootleg Pete could even be seen as early as 15 February 1925 in Walt Disney's Alice comedy »Alice Solves the Puzzle«. First appearance in the Mickey Mouse daily strip on 12 April 1930. Until 1941, this character was called Peg Leg Pete and had a wooden leg.
Clumsy, but determined Barney first appeared in 1939 in the MGM cartoon »The Bear That Couldn't Sleep« (directed by Rudolf Ising). Until 1954, a total of 26 Barney Bear cartoons were released. In the comic books he first teamed up with Goofer Gopher, then with Benny Burro; later he also had 2 nephews called Fuzzy and Wuzzy.
Benny, »the lonesome burro«, debuted in 1942 in the MGM cartoon »Little Gravel Voice« (directed by Rudolf Ising); it was only in the comic books that he received a name, probably by Eleanor Packer. Starting with OG 11/1 (May 1944), he became Barney Bear's sidekick, which did not happen in the cartoons until »Half-Pint Palomino« (1953, directed by Dick Lundy); however, Barney had a nameless burro who carried his equipment in »The Prospecting Bear« (1941, directed by Rudolf Ising).
Barney's choleric neighbor debuted in OG 31/1 (February 1947). Barks credits Gil Turner with the idea.
Stoic Droopy was first seen in the MGM cartoon »Dumb-Hounded« (1943, directed by Tex Avery). Barks, who did not know the films and only worked from a model sheet, christened him Happy Hound.
The criminal wolf, known only by his prison number and some aliases, was Droopy's enemy in several MGM cartoons.
One of the most famous characters of the Warner Bros. animation studio. Porky debuted in the cartoon »I Haven't Got a Hat« (1935, directed by Friz Freleng), was then taken over by Tex Avery, and began to receive his final shape in 1937 from Bob Clampett. His voice was spoken by Mel Blanc.
Porky's girlfriend first appeared in the cartoon »Porky's Romance« (1937, directed by Frank Tashlin).
One of the most famous characters of the Warner Bros. animation studio. Bugs officially debuted in the cartoon »A Wild Hare« (1940, directed Tex Avery), though a predecessor could already be seen in 1938 in »Porky's Hare Hunt« (directed by Ben Hardaway). The character was probably inspired by Max Hare from the Disney cartoon »The Tortoise and the Hare« (5 January 1935, directed by Wilfred Jackson).
This character was developed at the Walter Lantz animation studio. First appearance in the cartoon »Life Begins for Andy Panda« (1939, directed by Alex Lovy).

BarksBase by Gerd Syllwasschy · Last update: 21 February 2003
Illustrations © Disney (42), Turner (5), Warner Bros. (3), Walter Lantz (1).